Survey: Malaysian women more vulnerable to financial shock

KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysian women are more vulnerable to financial shock than men due to low work force participation and a growing wage disparity.

This is according to the RinggitPlus Malaysian Financial Literacy Survey (RMFLS) which was conducted in three languages, English, Bahasa Malaysia, and Chinese, covering all central, southern, northern and east Malaysian regions. The survey sampled 3,211 respondents aged 18 and above.

It found that 75 per cent of female respondents could save less than RM500 per month, compared with 66 per cent of male.

More women (69 per cent) also can survive less than three months with their current savings than men (64 per cent).

This leaves them more vulnerable in the face of financial emergencies such as job loss or unexpected expenses.

The struggle to save affects the ability for Malaysian women to grow their money and ultimately build a retirement nest, with only 44 per cent of female respondents have started investing (compared with 56 per cent of male respondents.

Similarly, 51 per cent of female respondents have financially started planning for their retirement - 10 per cent fewer than male respondents.

"As such, initiatives by the government including those in the Madani Economy Framework and in 2024 Budget will play a crucial role to address this concerning trend," RinggitPlus said in a statement.

The 2024 Budget includes financing support specifically for female entrepreneurs, and tax incentives to encourage women to re-enter the workforce, as part of a broader goal by the government to increase female participation in the labour force.

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